NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1123418
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Dec
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
From Discrete to Continuous Process Simulation in Classical Thermodynamics: Irreversible Expansions of Ideal Monatomic Gases
Álvarez-Rúa, Carmen; Borge, Javier
Journal of Chemical Education, v93 n12 p2110-2116 Dec 2016
Thermodynamic processes are complex phenomena that can be understood as a set of successive stages. When treating processes, classical thermodynamics (and most particularly, the Gibbsian formulation, predominantly used in chemistry) only pays attention to initial and final states. However, reintroducing the notion of process is absolutely necessary to get to know the final state from the initial state conditions. In general, complex concepts can be better understood through visualization. Nowadays, computer graphics can be used to simulate processes, from initial to final states, including interactivity and time progression. This technology report attempts to illustrate the benefits that the use of computer graphics may provide in learning classical thermodynamics. Our work shows how interactive graphic animations may be used to dynamically study thermodynamic processes. This report illustrates how key concepts in thermodynamic process, such as reversibility and irreversibility, can be easily introduced to students through visualization and interactivity. For this goal, we have tested a programming environment called Processing, widely used in the context of the visual arts to create images, animations, and interactions. The Processing software development environment has four major advantages: it is free of charge and open source, easy to use, multiplatform, and oriented to get immediate visual feedback while programming.
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A